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Academy of Art University Designers Bring Their Brand of Fashion to New York

Seven Academy of Art University designers debuted their Fall 2011 Collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center alongside seasoned designers like Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera, Diane Von Furstenberg and Academy alum Norman Ambrose.

Design by Holly Smith; Photo by Randy Brooke

As the only school to show at the iconic fashion event, Academy of Art University offers Graduate Fashion students the opportunity of a lifetime to get exposure for their innovative and fresh designs. The Fall 2011 Collections marked Academy of Art University’s tenth show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center.

“Since the first New York Fashion Week showing in September 2005, the show has grown in size and in the caliber of fashion professionals, designers, recruiters and media who attend,” said Simon Ungless, Director of the School of Fashion. “Each season, more recruiters attend and more media coverage is generated.”

Holly Smith, Minha Yoon, Stephanie Gelot, Hurst Chang-Wei Lin, Dejchat Sriyoopum, Jonathan David Baker and Aura Taylor certainly impressed the press. They have been featured by MTV, California Apparel News, CBS New York, NY1 and Women’s Wear Daily among many others.

As the show began, the crowd hushed and cameras came out when models began stepping out on the runway in Holly Smith’s hooded leather and wool designs. Holly, who worked in product development for Coach prior to pursuing her MFA in Fashion Design, referenced the sleek silhouettes of diving water birds in each of her pieces.

Design by Stephanie Gelot; Photo by Randy Brooke

The next collection shown was created by Minha Yoon, who has worked for London designers including Maria Francesca Pepe, Nicola de Main, and Chris Liu. Minha’s black dresses used subtly contrasting textures to evoke the effect of light and shadows.

Using prints and a variety of fabrics, Stephanie Gelot’s collection was inspired by nomadic tribes and used a palette of greys and rich, deep reds.

Hurst Chang-Wei Lin’s collection incorporated visually arresting seam placements in wool, tweed, felt, silk organza and steel mesh in earthy hues. Hurst designed his looks with the history and art of alchemy in mind.

Dejchat Sriyoopum, the next designer in the show, wanted to imbue an elegant look to his pieces. Sophisticated tailoring and long skirts met in fabrics such as taffeta, cashmere, alpaca and silk organza.

Jonathan David Baker’s intricate layers of lace, silk organza, tulle, and fox recalled Japanese underground culture, building on that to create the one-of-a-kind looks. Jonathan garnered favorable comment from Cathy Horyn of the New York Times, as did Aura Taylor and Stephanie Gelot.

Design by Jonathan David Baker; Photo by Randy Brooke

The final designer, Aura, ended the show with a glimpse into the future. Working on her collection, she considered how clothing would be made in the next century, inspiring her to use a heat-bonded technique in her seams which gave the items a modern feel.

In addition to this being the tenth show in New York for the school, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week used fashion illustrations by Gladys Perint Palmer, Executive Director of the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University for their seasonal graphics for the Fall 2011 event at Lincoln Center.

As the emerging fashion designers see their names and their fashions highlighted in top publications, they build a portfolio unlike any other.

“Premiering their collections during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center is an amazing opportunity for these designers,” said Ungless. “The show is a great platform to begin their careers.”

Watch the full Fall 2011 Graduate Collections Fashion Show!

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